gîtes de france
Gîtes de Mane-Ster
Gîtes de Mane-Ster
Loisirs et tourisme
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The environment

The Ria d’Etel (tidal river) flows deeply inland from the Atlantic ocean for miles between the villages of Etel and Plouhinec. Along the winding river are many varied & beautiful spots : sandy beaches, rocky inlets, small natural islands, unspoilt little fishing villages, and vast wet lands inhabited by multiple sea birds : herons, egrets, sterns, and crested cormorants. There are also many oyster farms up & down the river. The Ria d’Etel is a protected site.

The Vieux Passage is a charming little fishing harbor. Originally dominated by a fortified building, in the middle ages it acted as an embarkation for crossing the river – this is confirmed by XI century documentation.

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The Etel Sandbank

The Etel Sandbank is an underwater sandbank made by the varying ocean currents, and the tide where the river meets the ocean. This moving sandbank makes navigation up the river hazardous, its position dependent on the tidal currents and wind. A watch tower “the Mat Fenoux” helps indicate to sailors the passage into the River. The Plouhinec semaphore is rather special : it is the only remaining civil semaphore in France and its guardian is a woman – again, a unique position in France! This lady, Josiane Pené received a double decoration in February 2010 (The Order of Maritime Merit and the Order of National Merit).

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The Sand Dunes

This area is one of the last « great natural spaces » in Brittany. It is of national importance and joins Gavres-Quiberon. It has many outstanding natural riches with multiple landscapes. Its wildlife and flora is varied, many protected plant species can be found and in the winter months numerous birds settle and breed in the dunes and around the inland sea of Gavres “petite mer de Gavres”.

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The beaches

To the south lie the 8km of fine sandy beaches and their dunes. Kervegant and Magouero beaches are monitored by coast guards during the summer and both have the “Blue European Flag” label. Lines beach is one of the most beautiful in Plouhinec and is part of the large dune area spreading from Gavres to Quiberon.

  • To the west, the Petite mer de Gavres, an inland tidal lake 5km long,
    is famous for its hand gathering of shell fish.

  • To the east, the Ria d’Etel meanders inland for 17km.

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    Local History

    There are numerous local churches and chapels. Each year, a religious Forgiveness ceremony is celebrated with processions going from the chapels to the neighboring Shrines and Fountains. It is the time to bring out banners and other religious attributes. At Saint Cornely, the horses are blessed.

    At Mané-Véchen is the gallo-roman archeological site (this is along the river path of the Ria déEtel in Plouhinec), standing on a prominent rock it looks over the river estuary. This site was occupied both military and commercially in the Neolithic age as confirmed by numerous megaliths.

    The Lorois Bridge stretches over the river between Belz and Plouhinec, thus joining the 2 areas of Auray and Lorient. It is the only bridge across the river.

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    Leisure and culture

    There are many opportunities both for amateur and serious sports lovers : walking, trecking and bike routes are numerous. For water sports, the beaches and Petite mer de Gavres provide chances for kyte- surfing, body boarding, wind surfing, sailing etc. People wanting to hunt for shell fish will be in their element, with mussels, clams etc.

    Line fishing you might catch a sea bass! Should you wish to go sea fishing, we will be delighted to advise you & put you in touch with a professional. As for swimming, the beaches at Kervegant and Maguero are supervised in the summer season.

    If you like bargain hunting, there are numerous flea markets & brocantes each weekend. And every august is the amazing celtic festival in Lorient “Festival Inter-Celtique”.
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    Southern Morbihan Tourisme

    6km up the river lies the tiny island of Saint Cado, reached by a stone foot-bridge. Called the pearl of the river, it’s home to a chapel, a fountain and its Cross and is well worth a visit. 10km along the coast you come to Port Louis & its amazing view over the entry to the Port of Lorient. The national martime museum and the Indian trading Company museum is within the Vauban citadelle. 20km away is Carnac & its classified site : the megalithic fields with the lines of stones, the Prehistoric Museum, the St Cornelly church & 6 chapels which border the site. The local town of Auray, also 20km away, is charming with delightful shops along paved streets, with its castle walls leading down to the river harbour of Saint Goustan, nestling in the Golfe du Morbihan.

    The county’s main town, Vannes, is also the main harbour of the Golfe du Morbihan (a true inland sea). This historic town has much to offer & captures the ever changing moods of sea, sky & land.